NBL MVP Xavier Cooks makes cameo NBA debut for Wizards
NBL MVP Xavier Cooks has made his NBA debut for the Washington Wizards just hours after having his first workout with the team.
Less than four days after leading the Sydney Kings to a second consecutive title with victory in Game 5 of the NBL grand final series, Cooks came off the bench for four minutes in the Wizards' 132-118 home loss to the high-flying Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
"Another guy with size, athleticism," Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr told reporters, who revealed Cooks had his first session with the team in the morning.
"He's got the versatility to defend multiple positions."
The Wizards (32-38) sit 11th in the eastern conference as they battle for a spot among the seventh to 10th-placed teams who will contest the NBA Play-In tournament.
Cooks' countryman Matthew Dellavedova got a rare cameo off the bench for the Kings, nailing a three-pointer in his four minutes on court for the Kings.
The 32-year-old Dellavedova returned to the competition last year from Melbourne United and is attempting to help another team to an NBA championship after playing alongside LeBron James in the Cleveland Cavaliers' triumphant 2015-16 season.
The Kings (43-27) are looking good, placed equal second with the Memphis Grizzlies in the western conference behind only the Denver Nuggets, having won 11 of their last 13 matches and seven straight on the road.
Domantas Sabonis had 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Kings against the Wizards while Terence Davis II provided an early spark off the bench and added 21 points.
Six players scored in double figures for the Kings. Keegan Murray scored 19, Malik Monk added 17, De'Aaron Fox had 12 and Harrison Barnes 11.
They shot shot 21 for 34 (61.8 per cent) from 3-point range, with five each from Murray, Davis and Monk.
Washington forward Kyle Kuzma made 12 of 23 shots to finish with 33 points while fellow star Bradley Beal added 20 points for the Wizards, who lost for the seventh time in nine games despite shooting 45.1 per cent from the floor.